Democrats also want to extend expiring tax cuts from the 2009 Recovery Act, targeted directly at the middle class. The GOP plan allows all those tax cuts to expire. So while the two plans are similar in many ways, the GOP plan demands extending tax cuts for wealthy Americans, while allowing middle class taxes to go up slightly. The Democrats' plan accomplishes the opposite. And the net result? According to a preliminary report by the Joint Committee on Taxation, provided by the Democratically controlled Senate Finance Committee, the Democrats' plan would have a significantly more salutary impact on the deficit next year -- over $42 billion in 2013 -- than the GOP plan.
Here's how it looks in chart form. Note that this chart excludes the parties' different plans to patch the Alternative Minimum Tax. When you include that figure, the GOP plan increases the deficit even more.